The law offices of Gana LLP recently filed a complaint before The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on behalf of a investor against brokerage firm LPL Financial, LLC (LPL) involving the firm’s financial advisor, Kevin McCallum (McCallum) and his use of discretion to invest substantial sums in Medley Capital Corporation (MCC). The Claimant alleged that LPL failed to supervise Mr. McCallum’s discretionary trading in MCC, breached their fiduciary duty to Claimant, and failed to conduct due diligence on the investment. In addition, due to the massive amount of MCC that LPL allowed Mr. McCallum to purchase on behalf of all of his clients, the Claimant alleged that LPL had an undisclosed conflict of interest in the MCC transaction.
MCC is a low-priced thinly traded security and is a non-diversified closed end management investment company incorporated in Delaware that is a business development company (BDC). MCC commenced operations on January 20, 2011 with an investment objective to generate current income and capital appreciation by lending directly to privately held middle market companies. BDCs often enter into high risk lending arrangements.
In this case, MCC was even more risky than the average BDC due to several factors including: 1) the BDC was a thinly traded micro-cap issuer and a low-priced or penny stock; 2) MCC had suffered from years of ongoing losses and declines in its business portfolio; and 3) MCC’s management was accused and found to have engaged in an unethical bidding process. Due to the foregoing high risk factors, an investment in MCC was unsuitable for the vast majority of investors and certainly unsuitable in large concentrations for any investor.